Ugandan LGBT Activist Wins the Nürnberg International Human Rights Award

Bayerns Innenminister Joachim Herrmann, Nürnbergs Oberbürgermeister Ulrich Maly und seine Ehefrau Petra
(l. to r.) The Nürnberg Mayor Ulrich Maly and his wife Petra, Jacqueline Kasha and the Bayern Minister of Interior, Joachim Herrmann at the Awarding ceremony.

Last weekend saw Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan activitist, awarded the Nürnberg International Human Rights Award for her continuous work in LGBT activism. Jacqueline fights for the freedom of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transexuals in Uganda albeit all these are illegal and punishable by Ugandan law.

Even in the wake of the pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the Parliament she has continued to live in Uganda and is currently suing the government for the continuous closure of LGBT gatherings.

The mayor pointed out at the event that, “Our decision should not be understood as us wagging a finger against the African continent, but clearly as a worldwide invitation to secure the rights of sexual minorities”.

Originally an accountant by profession, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera changed careers by acquiring a human rights advocacy diploma from Human Rights Education Associates in Massachusetts, USA.

As the Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), she has publicly campaigned for an end to homophobia in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal, and has faced harassment by the media and politicians, as well as threats of violence, because of her work.

In 2010 she was picked as number 1 of the “Top 25 Significant Queer Women of 2010” by Velvetpark Magazine, the publication described her as a “Braveheart”.

In 2011, as the world was celebrating 100 years of International Womens’ Day, she was listed on the Women Deliver 100 list, as well as among the 50 most inspiring feminist women in Africa. That same year Kasha was awarded the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

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